Records and Heritage

Man Mo Temple

Architectural Design

The Man Mo Temple Compound is mainly composed of three green brick structures with pitched roofs. Man Mo Temple is not a traditional Siheyuen, but a three-bay and two-hall building fronted by two granite drum platforms. A pair of screen doors is placed in the front hall.

The exterior of Man Mo Temple
The exterior of Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple, dedicated to King Emperor Man and Holy King-Emperor Kwan, is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong.
Man Mo Temple, dedicated to King Emperor Man and Holy King-Emperor Kwan, is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong.
The plaque “Shen Wei Pu You” was bestowed upon Tung Wah by Qing Emperor Guangxi in 1879 for appreciation to the donation raised at the amount of one hundred sixty thousand to the severe drought crisis in Mainland China from 1876 to 1878.
The plaque “Shen Wei Pu You” was bestowed upon Tung Wah by Qing Emperor Guangxi in 1879 for appreciation to the donation raised at the amount of one hundred sixty thousand to the severe drought crisis in Mainland China from 1876 to 1878.

Following the traditional Chinese architectural layout, the rear hall housing the altars of the deities is a few steps higher than the front hall. Between the two halls is a covered courtyard flanked by two side chambers of humpbacked roofs (捲棚頂). The courtyard is covered with a double eaved hip-and-gable roof (重檐歇山頂), which is supported by four granite columns at the corners of the courtyard.

Lit Shing Kung is originally a three-hall-two-courtyard building. The two courtyards were later covered by steel roofs. The Kung Sor is a simple one-hall structure. The historic granite doorframe on which the construction year of Kung Sor can be found is still well preserved. The Kung Sor has been converted into a souvenir shop. The modern structure attached to the back of Kung Sor named Virtue Court (善德宮) was added in 1994 for people to worship their ancestors.

Front view of Lit Shing Kung
Front view of Lit Shing Kung
The granite doorframe of Kung Sor has great historic values
The granite doorframe of Kung Sor has great historic values

The magnificent Temple Compound is exquisitely decorated with Shiwan ceramic figurines, granite and wood cravings, plastered mouldings and murals, reflecting the superb craftsmanship of the old days. Two types of gable walls are found in the Temple, i.e. curvilinear gable of Man Mo Temple and pointed gable of Lit Shing Kung and Kung Sor. The delicate Shiwan ceramic ridge of Man Mo Temple made in 1893 is of ceramic figurines displaying a Cantonese opera stage setting. A pearl in the middle and two dragon fishes at ridge ends are placed on top portion of the ridge. It is interesting to note that brick carvings are found on the gable front (墀頭) of Man Mo Temple and Kung Sor while the gable front of Lit Shing Kung is decorated with Shiwan ceramic figurines.

Shiwan ceramic figurines on the ridge of Man Mo Temple
Shiwan ceramic figurines on the ridge of Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple, providing ritualistic service for the citizens over the past centuries, is well-received by the society.
Man Mo Temple, providing ritualistic service for the citizens over the past centuries, is well-received by the society.

(Source of information: Antiquities Advisory Board)